Star Wars rule

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Star Wars, discovered by Mirek Wojtowicz, is perhaps the most beautiful and intriguing Cellular Automata rule. It's a successful combination of famous Brian's Brain with a stabilising factor: 345/2/4, where: 3,4, and 5 are Survival rules, 2 is Birth rule (like in Brain's Brain), and last 4 means 4 states of cells.

In Star Wars most cells travel horizontally and vertically at light speed in all sorts of Hauler-like formations. Many formations resemble space ships, often shooting missiles, what gave me an idea for the rule name. Sometimes magically some cells start to self-organize, they try to build more or less stable configurations (colonies?). Many of those configurations create guns of all periods and shapes. It's fun to watch how they build the colonies - the internal parts get stable, and many single cells are running around and building slowly outer parts (what resembles termites building or guarding mounds). At least they try - often missiles from other colonies destroy their work...

Some patterns are unbelievably stable. Especially three simple ones: a cross, a shield, and a double shield - they can survive most of attacks. Sometimes the rails are built. Rails are totally indestructible from long sides. But also they have an Achilles heel - well-shot missiles can successfully attack their ends, guarded by termites.

The Star Wars rule is perfect for creating interesting patterns. Some samples can be found in the Users Corner.

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Sample pattern showing the beauty of Star Wars rule

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Star Wars elements

to be continued...

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Last update: 15 Jun 1999